My shock on finding I suffered from COPD
Dubliner Ann Murphy (57) has opened up about the shock she felt when she was diagnosed with a chronic lung condition.
From Chapelizod, she was just 45 when she learned she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
It is a condition that can cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath in sufferers.
"I had bronchitis as a teenager, then it was asthma, and 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with COPD.
"In the beginning the diagnosis was such a shock because - especially when you hear the word disease - it's very frightening. I was at a fracture clinic because I had fractured a bone in my foot, when I was told I had COPD.
"That was it and that was all I was told, so I had to ring my own GP to see what he knew about it."
"Exercise does help. You have to push yourself. When you are breathless you could just sit here and say oh god no, I am not doing it. But I go to aqua aerobics, which is great exercise for the lungs. It is so much easier to move in the water.
"I am in a support group for COPD patients," Ann said. "We meet up every two months, and it is great to meet other people with the condition."